At first, I thought, "Nope. Not recently." But then, I asked myself, "If I had to choose a magical moment from the past few weeks, what would it be?" Instantly, I thought of art time with my 7-year-old son. Here's why...
|Our art tray: a shoe box with mugs holding supplies.|
So I gave up on it and claimed personality differences. Just like my daughter was a natural artist who didn't liked playing sports when she was younger, my son was a natural athlete who didn't like to create art. I stopped forcing him, but it continued to bug me.
There are countless articles on how art is important for childhood development and the correlation of a regular art routine to high academic performance. Not to mention that we (me, my hubby and my daughter) all love to create. I wanted to get some kind of creativity out of my son if only to round him out as an individual. If he wanted to create a piece of work by kicking a soccer ball at paint cans against a brick wall, then so be it. Heck, give me a page full of soccer ball sketches! I was open to anything.
So, I though I would try this with my son. Usually, I'd have my son sit at the dining table with paper and art supplies while I worked on my writing on my laptop or did some chores. It was an assignment he did by himself. But that has changed. Now, we both sit down at the table with papers in front of us, and I show him how to create multiple pieces of art using different techniques. Just as I did with my daughter, I don't just tell him how to do it, I show him.
It worked like magic! Below are some of his pieces.
~ Line Art ~
We place dots around a page and then connect the dots randomly with a ruler to create sections to fill with different colors. Roman loves using the ruler, and he makes a swishing noise when drawing the lines. Whenever he came across a crayon color with a weird name like Cornflower or Inchworm, he pointed them out to me. After finishing his piece, he said the next one will have more Cornflower. That made me giggle.
~ Cup Art ~
We trace the border of a cup to create overlapping circles with sections to fill with different colors. Roman watched me carefully as I traced a plastic Spiderman cup onto the page. I got a "wow" from him when he saw the overlapping circles transform into a design on my paper. He couldn't wait to trace the cup into his own design. It took him a bit of effort, but he managed to get 6 overlapping circles on the page.
~ Full Page Doodle ~
We fill the page with drawings and scribbles. Roman chose a theme - Aliens In Space. It eventually turned into a scene instead of a page of doodles, but hey, whatever makes him pull that pen across the paper works for me. His aliens are all happy, even the torpedo-looking aliens at the bottom have smiles on their faces. My favorite is the one-eyed fuzzy blob in the upper left-hand corner, which he claims is tired from space travel. And that swirl? It's a black hole.
It's only been a couple of weeks, but I've received more art from him than his art teacher has sent home all year. And more importantly, he's proud of his work - something he's never shown from the art he's brought home from school. It makes me wonder about what they are teaching in 2nd grade art class. Maybe I should give the teacher a call...
The groans and moans are slowly depleting, and the resistance to art is fading. Although he still loves his sports and outdoor play, I'm getting him accustomed to a routine with art. And despite the initial grunts whenever I call for art time, Roman brings in the tray of supplies and two sheets of paper - one for him and one for me - and asks in an eager tone, "What are we doing today?".
That alone is magical.
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What techniques have you used to get your child to love art?
I'd love to hear your stories!
|I wasn't kidding about those colors....|